First Data has launched a global online freight payment system for the maritime shipping industry.
The proprietary PayCargo system is an electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) tool designed to help reduce the cost of approving and disputing payments.
Chris Courts, group manager for transportation at First Data, says: "PayCargo can potentially revolutionise the payment process in the shipping industry by replacing manual processes with technology that reduces time, errors, and ultimately costs associated with making and receiving payments for shipments.".
He cites Aberdee Group research which suggests that companies pay an average of $18 to process an invoice, and some companies pay $40 or more. Disputes can cost up to an additional $15 in personnel expenses due to ongoing long-distance phone calls, e-mails, and fax charges between the shipper and carrier to approve, question, and dispute payments and deal with last minute exceptions, says Courts.
Econocaribe Consolidators, one of the world's largest non-vessel operating common carrier companies, has already signed an agreement with PayCargo after seeing initial success with a pilot project. President John Abisch says: "Disputes are a major issue in this industry. PayCargo gives people on both sides of a transaction insight into the billing so issues can be addressed and payment can be made efficiently."
PayCargo integrates with existing carrier accounts receivable systems using a method that can update invoice and payment data several times throughout the day.
The Web-based system has no setup or membership fees, and little or no capital expenditure by either the carriers or the shippers, says PayCargo's Juan Dieppa: "After a simple setup by both parties, the shipper can simply ship, click and pay."
Earlier this month, Deutsche Bank announced a partnership with ocean carrier e-commerce outfit Inttra to provide an EIPP service to the $260 billion container shipping industry. That system is expected to come online in the fourth quarter.